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Internal colonialism

Internal Colonialism Definition

Internal colonialism is the way in which a country's dominant group exploits minority groups for its economic advantage. The dominant group manipulates the social institutions to suppress minorities and deny them full access to their society's benefits. Slavery is an extreme example of internal colonialism, as was the South African system of apartheid.

Internal colonialism is often accompanied by segregation that is defined as the separation of racial or ethnic groups. Segregation allows the dominant group to maintain social distance from the minority and yet exploit their labor as cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs, nannies, factory workers, and so on. In some Indian villages Dalits are forbidden to use the village pump or enter temples. Dalit women must walk long distances to streams or pumps outside of the village to fetch their water.